After visiting caves and briefly exploring the Buddha park in Hpa-an, we booked some onward tickets for a boat to Mawlamyine. Hpa-an is the perfect place to take it easy really, other than the caves there is not so much to do, but the surrounding scenery is quite beautiful.
The boat from Hpa-an to Mawlamyine was a small rickety vessel with plastic garden chairs lined in a row to sit on
and definitely was one of several times on a boat in Southeast where I was convinced it was probably going to sink
but it held up, and we chugged down the murky waters of the Thanlyin river under a blue sky…
Passing spits of land and tree covered rocks,
and the closer we got to Mawlamyine, small fishing villages along the banks of the river
People wash their clothes and bathe on the banks, some line up fishing poles and leave them to check back up on later, small children giggle and splash around in the water.
These are the moments I love the most when traveling (even at home, when on a train or a bus) – catching an unfiltered glimpse of peoples lives, unedited, unperfected, not put on for show or to get money out of tourists. Just to see people go about their daily lives and fully absorb the moment, as your fleeting glance disappears and you along with it…